You want to work in medicine to give back to communities that need and deserve health and wellness — but you know you are a bit squeamish. Fortunately, there is a way that you can enjoy a long and prosperous career in medicine without getting your hands dirty: healthcare administration. Every healthcare facility relies on administrators to run the business side of the operation, which involves understanding healthcare regulations, managing operating costs, billing insurers and patients and generally supporting medical providers.
If you want to join the field of healthcare administration, here are a few skills that will help you thrive:
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In truth, communication is an essential skill for every professional in every industry. Yet, in healthcare administration, communication can be of vital importance. Healthcare administrators communicate not just with other business professionals like themselves but with healthcare providers as well as insurance providers, equipment technicians and even patients – all of whom tend to have unique methods of speaking and sharing information.
Thus, healthcare administrators must be sufficiently proficient at communication to allow for easy transfer of information amongst a wide variety of people and groups, which necessitates mastering a wide variety of communication styles and tools.
Many professionals choose to join the healthcare industry for the promise of variety. No two patients are exactly alike, which means that providers — and the administrators who support them – must constantly face new challenges that require innovative solutions to ensure that all patients are able to access adequate treatment and achieve health.
Often, healthcare administrators will face unique problems regarding community health initiatives, shifting healthcare regulations and patient billing concerns. Being able to solve problems independently and creatively will help you thrive in any administrative position, but within healthcare especially, this skill is imperative.
Not every healthcare administrator boasts a leadership role within their organization; there are certainly administrative assistants and employees in medical billing and coding who are not in executive positions – yet. Still, leadership skills are useful for every level of employment, especially in a field like healthcare administration, in which all workers need to be able to make fast and accurate decisions to address new and urgent challenges.
One of the most important leadership skills for all healthcare administrators to develop includes a sense of responsibility to your tasks and other members of your team, which should prompt you to take initiative in your job, volunteering for more work and putting 100 percent into every task you are assigned. When you demonstrate the qualities of a leader, you are more likely to reach leadership positions earlier in your career.
Many healthcare administrators oversee the development of the policies, procedures and practices on which a healthcare organization will function. Because policies can profoundly affect the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare providers, it is essential that healthcare administrators understand the best practices for creating policies that make a positive impact.
In truth, policymaking is a skill that is difficult to hone outside of positions where it is an essential task, but you can read and research policymaking before and during your career in healthcare administration to ensure that the policies you eventually enact are successful.
Healthcare is an enormous industry, valuing over $808 billion in the United States. Individual healthcare organizations can have budgets in the hundreds of millions, and healthcare administrators are trusted to manage funds effectively to ensure uninterrupted services to patients and communities.
Though finance is a massive field that itself requires a number of different skills, having some proficiency in finance could be vital to your career in healthcare administration. You can begin investing in your financial proficiency today with online courses introducing you to the subject.
6. Regulatory Compliance
Healthcare is among the most heavily regulated industries in the U.S. – for good reason. Patients depend entirely on the honesty and security of healthcare providers and organizations; bad actors in healthcare can easily take advantage of patients in all respects, leaving them with unmet health concerns and extreme financial troubles.
Typically, healthcare administrators are responsible for ensuring that a healthcare facility is in complete compliance with state and national regulations. Thus, you should have the capacity to understand and implement regulatory compliance as necessary in your role.
Healthcare administrators are immensely important professionals in the healthcare field. Within healthcare administration, you can have a long and successful career that allows you to give your community the health and wellness it deserves.